Showing posts with label Chickens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chickens. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Facts About CHICKEN RAISING - A Profitable Family Business

Perching bantam chicken, Middle Farm in Sussex...

Having pets around is said to liven up every abode. There seems to be no home in the United States that does not have one pet aboard, and people globally supports that assumption as well. Animals have been welcomed as a part of the family, and are nurtured accordingly. The usual pets that you would see around would be that of dogs and cats; being domestic animals. These animals have been commonly associated with man; the dog, being coined as "man's best friend"; and the feline, being a sweet and doting companion in every abode.

People are used to having animals around; which they take in as companions for purposes of having protection and for having a stress-reliever at home that the whole family can play and bond with. But, in rural areas, raising chickens as well as caring for them; is widely practiced. Aside from the above-mentioned advantages of having animals around, raising chickens to rake in more profit and food than one can purport; especially if you know how to raise chickens in an efficient manner. This is definitely a smart option when it comes to animal farm raising as this seems to be a traditional method which takes you back to the basics; which is pretty interesting and practical especially in these economically trying times.

As people would say, trying times call for better options and getting more leverage towards financial security. Seemingly, raising chickens is a better alternative towards raising others forms of farm animals such as cows, pigs, and sheep; to name a few. For one, the sound of having unlimited fresh chicken meat supply is enticing; and so are the supply of chicken eggs; which sounds great for breakfasts. Maintaining a chicken farm or coop is pretty inexpensive too as compared to its counterparts, and the smell isn't that bad either.

Also, this provides the soil its natural fertilizers. These may all sound easy; but raising chicken is one thing that must be well-planned, researched, and must be strategically executed. One must take note of how to efficiently take care of chickens, provide due nutrition, and keep them safe. Chicken raising is a serious matter but is an engaging activity for the whole family. Aside from providing food; this is also a profitable business venture for people who are optimistic about the threshold of agriculture and chicken raising even in today's modern times. In fact, the steady mix of technology and traditional chicken raising is equally complimentary and thriving in today's modern market. Chicken served in a plate is everyone's favorite meal, and is considered a staple in the global arena.

However, raising chickens well is important to get the best end-products. This needs calculated and well-educated moves when it comes to the combined basics of rearing chicken traditionally with the consolidation of high-end technology being employed in raising chickens and building coops. But, here are some facts that you need to take note of in raising chicken the right way:
  • Do you prefer brown or white eggs for your meal? Well, knowing which one you aim to produce will help you choose the right chickens that can do the job. You can actually anticipate the egg colors by means of looking into the color of the skin that is next to that of the chicken's ears. A pale or white chicken skin in that area means that the chicken is ought to produce white eggs as well; while the brown or reddish skin on that spot would produce brown eggs.

  • It is advisable to feed chicken with organic food and supplements when necessary. Let them move around in the grass area. This is said to lower down the cholesterol levels while increasing the Vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids levels; which is a great thing for people with heart ailments and those who want to lose weight.

  • Another advantage as well by raising chicken is that they help people eliminate bugs and they also eat grass which saves time for grass-cutting. These are also very low maintenance as they are only required to be fed once a day and their beddings are changed once or twice per month depending on weather conditions. Daily clean-ups would be a breeze once you get the hang of it.


Raising chickens and building coop takes some real planning to be done; here's a heads-up to that:
  • Time allocated for tending the flock; depends primarily on the number of chicken under your care. It could probably take around 15 minutes to a few hours of work to allocate for chicken raising.

  • Chicken are social animals and loves to roam around and interact with other chickens. They need a spacious and clean land where they can exercise and run freely. You should also consider getting two hens if you want to produce more eggs. Chickens have feelings and varied personalities as well, and they also need to be comfortable and happy in their surroundings in order to produce eggs at your disposal. You need to provide them with a roomy coop that will be tailor-fit to coupling.

  • Investments in raising chicken would be costly at first, but the rewards will grow immensely as the business reaches milestones as well.
Raising chickens is definitely a profitable venture that comes with real-time benefits and perks for the whole family. It is an income-generating business venture that will give more advantages for food and leisure; more than any type of animal farming options there is.



Saturday, November 3, 2018

Raising Tips: How to Choose a CHICKEN Breed

A Light Sussex breed hen
A Light Sussex breed hen - (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Chickens are wonderful animals. They are like coconut. You see, the coconut can be used in many ways- from the leaves to the roots. In more ways than one, chickens are bred and raised because it entails a lot of benefits. In Asian countries, chickens can be eaten from beak down to its funny-looking feet. Thus, making it one of the sought after poultry products in the animal community.

Yet, chickens aren’t used only for food but for ornamental purposes. It all depends on the owner of the poultry farm if he’s going to raise chickens for food or for an exhibition. Whatever the purpose is for these critters, you can settle on one simple question…what breed should you get?

There are actually four ideas to consider when choosing a breed – egg production only, eggs and meat combined, exhibition, and meat only. Aside from these four, people also account chickens as a hobby and they very well enjoy watching and caring for their chickens.

Egg Production

If you are concerned with only the eggs and are not really a fan of chicken form and features, white leghorns or Red Sex Links and Golden Cornets fit the job. These breeds lay eggs in a very excellent way. There is a point to ponder upon though, if you want white eggs, choose a chicken breed that has earlobes that are white. But if you wanted brown eggs, choose a chicken breed that has red earlobes.

Meat

In meat, you have to purchase a breed that grows quickly and weighs big like the Cornish Cross. It is a cross breed between a White Cornish and a White Plymouth Rock. These breeds weigh four to five pounds in six weeks and weigh more than 6 pounds within 8 to 12 weeks.

Eggs and Meat

Breeds that are dual purpose is a combination of a breed that is both having the talent of vast egg production and grows larger and faster than the rest of the species. One typical and popular example is the Plymouth Rocks, Wyandottes and Sussex. They are both English and American breeds.

Exhibition

These are the kind of birds that are appreciated for their eloquent beauty and features. Every part of their feather-covered body must be exceptional. Usually, those that are chosen to wind up in an exhibition during fairs are those that are crossbred. Exhibitions shows for poultry raising are most popular in places like the Midwest and Indiana.

Usually, chickens are judged based on their color, breed type that’s supposed to be ideal, their body weight and shape, etc.



Bantams are one of the chicken types that outnumbered larger fowls during shows. They have a characteristic that a judge would adore – takes less space, easier to feed, eat less, and easy to handle. Their eggs are also expected to be small but are pretty much good for eating like other ordinary eggs. Some of the popular breeds of bantams are the Wyandottes, Cochins, Old English Game and Plymouth Rocks. These bantam breeds can most likely win in exhibitions.

Bantams are not the only birds that can have the right to the throne. Larger fowl breeds also hog the limelight. Some of these breeds are the leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, and Black Australorps. These breeds vary in their type, size, color, comb type and shape.



Thursday, October 18, 2018

Raising Chicks before CHICKENS

This is a photograph of three chicks hatching ...
This is a photograph of three chicks hatching in an incubator.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
There are two types of chicks to raise: the ones you practically took care of from the moment they were hatched and the ones that you bought from hatcheries which are already taken care of and just needs further nourishing. Basing from the two choices, there are also two ways of properly raising the chicks before becoming the perfect chickens.

Chicks hatched from your own poultry’s eggs basically need 4 things: comfort, warmth, food and water. Comfort can be based on your own personal touch and how you hold the chicks. Warmth is taken from the mother or if you plan to separate the chicks on an early stage, an incubator or what others call as a heat lamp is essential. Usually, the incubator is composed of two or three light bulbs depending on the number of chicks that have hatched.

The very first thing to do is fix the place where you will put your hatchlings – the brooder. It must have a temperature that is neither too cold nor too hot. Either of the two extremes will contribute severe negative conditions to the chicks. Your incubator must have a temperature that’s 90-95 degrees. If you have settled with the 95-degree heat, maintain it until the end of the first week. Your temperature must decrease every week by 5 degrees until you reach the 6th week.

The floor of your chick’s pad must be made of cardboard or piles of old newspapers. This can be used as an insulator for keeping the temperature in the room in proper condition.

Have the drinking station of your chicks always cleaned? Aside from that, the proper way of refreshing your chicks is to give them boiled water. Something as little as these creatures are too vulnerable to germs. Their baby immune systems aren’t that mature to fight away bacteria and harmful microorganisms that may invade their body. Better safe than sorry. Grain coffee is also an alternative but will cost you. You have to make sure that what you give them is not that hot to handle.

To serve their drink, pour the contents in a jug, turn it upside down standing on a dish. The leak coming from the inverted jug is sufficient enough to accommodate their need for nourishment.

Chicks are a little particular with their food. They don’t eat anything “old”. They want their food dripping with freshness. Initially, you could give them milled oats. You could include bits of boiled eggs into the milled oats. If you think to give them that is a bit too mushy, you are welcome to go to feed stores for poultry raising. Some who are fond of feeding anything to their chicks have this intuition to feed them bread. Which is totally wrong. Because feeding them bread is a sin. This can kill them.



You could also include lettuce cuts into the diet. Squeamish or not, you have to provide their favorite menu – bugs and grubs. They eat these little wiggly things and gobble them up so fast.

Just don’t make any mistake of giving these to newly hatched chicks.

You have to be very particular of the space that you have provided for the young ones. Cramping must be avoided. This might result in trampling and worse, cannibalism. Chicks grow quickly. That’s why you have to ensure that their room is big enough for their proper accommodation.

Do replace the cardboard or the newspaper placed under their pad every time you notice it’s soiled. Even you wouldn’t like the idea of sleeping in your own feces.



Tuesday, August 7, 2018

CHICKEN Rearing 101 - How Not to Raise Chickens

A chicken coop.
A chicken coop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Chick: A hatchling
Capon: A castrated male used for meat. (How much could that yield?)
Pullet: A female chicken under one year old. 
Hen: A female chicken over one year of age 
Rooster: A male chicken over one year of age.

Raising Chickens for the first time can be intimidating. When I first called the Feed Shop, I was trying to sound like a pro. I asked, “Do you sell pullets?” “Yes”, the man replied. “Are they all females?” It’s been an uphill battle ever since. 

Pullet parenthood is a much of an adventure as child rearing, only with more feces per pound of body weight. However, I’ve been reading quite a bit on poultry matters. (Yes, my coolness just turned over in its grave.) So if I am correct and I am quite certain I am not, here is how chicken rearin’ goes.
Go to your local feed store and purchase $10.00 worth of chicks and $50 worth of food and supplies. Don’t forget the water dispensers. Buying the metal ones, never plastic is always advised. I have yet to see a metal one.

Next, place the chicks somewhere sheltered, like a bedroom closet. Toss in some highly flammable straw or wood shavings and promptly dangle a glowing heat lamp just above them. Note to self: Update homeowner’s policy.

For the next several weeks feed them 3 lbs of food per day and remove 4 lbs of sh*t per day from the closet. Despite all logic, the birds get bigger. As the adult feathers grow in to be sure to clip one of their wings. That is one per bird, not just one wing total. If clipping is done late chicks will nest in your toilet. This is a bad thing. 

Clipping can be accomplished by tossing your scissors and your body into the heaping mound of chicks, poop, and straw. Grab a wiggling screeching bird from the bile pile. Restrain it with one hand. Stretch the wing out with your second hand. Clip off 50% of the wings outer ten feathers with your third hand. 

As the birds grow adjust the heat light temperature down by one degree per day. No, this is not actually possible. That’s not my point. You start at 100 degrees for hatchlings then continue down by one degree per day until your bedroom is a minimum of 3 degrees cooler than the spring blizzard outside your window.

Once you have frozen your ear to your semi-cannibalistic down pillow and the chicks have grown their adult feathers, they can be moved outside to the coop. I estimate the initial closet rearing stage to have taken five years. 

Before the move, experience the Joy of Wing Clipping one more time. Feather clipping never works the first time. No one knows why. Still, after all the hassle you probably don’t want them to fly the coop in under sixty seconds. Of course, if you’re like me, by this time you may be inclined to pack them each a lunch and leave a stack of Greyhound tickets by the open coop gate. 

Regarding habitat construction: Henhouses and chicken coops are a competitive art form. There is a myriad of websites showing off architectural designs from Chicken Chateaus to Bird Bordellos. The meticulous craftsmanship makes my own home look like – well – like a chicken coop. 

Always fashionable, I went with a shabby chic motif for my coop. The nesting boxes are an eclectic mix of stolen milk crates affixed to the wall by anything in arms reach. As for the coop itself, there is a gift for tight chicken wire, which eludes me. Quite frankly, my first attempt at a coop looks like Dr. Seuss dropped a hit of acid, blasted some Jefferson Starship and rolled around on the wire with every Who in Whoville. I think I’ll keep it. 

Inferior design aside, I ultimately learned a thing or two. The nesting boxes are supposed to be up off the ground. That is correct. For those of you keeping score you just spent two weeks cutting back the bird's flight feathers only to hang their houses in the sky. It’s just sick. 

Higher than the nest boxes, you are to build a roost. This is where the birds crap at night so they do not crap on your breakfast eggs. Of course, the roost is usually OVER the nesting boxes, so whatever you do, don’t use those perforated plastic milk crates. 

For young birds maintain a heat light in the hen house. Then on cooler nights, an animal with a brain the size of a bulimic toenail clipping will make the conscious decision to forgo your nest boxes, bypass the instinctual roost and leap into a tanning bed.

And finally, there is the feed regime. I asked several experts a dread upon feeding as well. Make sure to give your chickens, starter formula, mash, growth formula, start & grow, brood formula, grit, no grit, scraps, no scraps, goat placenta, nothing suggested on the internet, Terramycin, no antibiotics, medicated starter, non-medicated starter and never ever switch in-between. 

I may not be Queen of the Coop yet, but I’m working on it. Though I am still a zoologist and I still know Birds 101. Here are two myths I can help with. First, you do not need a rooster to get eggs. Most folk, especially those who have never owned chickens, will advise you on chickens. Each will insist you need a rooster for a while to do his manly duties, then you can slip him in the pot. As appealing as this concept is, your pot is a separate issue. 

Roosters are only needed to make fertile eggs. Hens are all that is needed to make breakfast eggs. Fertile eggs are just peachy if raising chicks was such a joy the first time you want to repeat the whole freakin’ process. In addition, there is always the risk of breaking a fertilized egg open and finding a 50% formed chick fetus hitting your hot skillet. Yum! Years of therapy will follow.



To keep it straight in your mind consider this: You are going about your life. Suddenly massive balls of calcium start stacking up inside your abdomen. Are you going to hold on to them just because you have not had sex lately? 

The second bird myth is totally unrelated so I thought I would mention it. Penguins occur in nature from the Equator on Southward. That is down to Antarctica, not the Arctic! No, they do not hang out with Polar Bears who live in the Arctic. No, you did not see them when you worked in Alaska, in the Arctic. Those were puffins. No, I am not sorry you look stupid to all those folks you told penguin tales too. 

Yes, some penguin species even reside on the Galapagos Islands at the equator (Cold weather would kill them), not floating around on icebergs - and not in the Arctic! Yes, I realize my eggs are not all in one basket. Delusional, close-minded people who insist you need a rooster to fertilize your penguin eggs so polar bears won’t lose their food supply drove me crazy! 


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Frequency Needed To Clean The COOP

English: Chicken coop and run by Oakdene Coops
Chicken coop and run by Oakdene Coops (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
While chickens may be "simple" animals, they still like to feel comfortable and part of that comfort involves keeping your chicken coop clean. A tidy house for your fowl will not only make for happier, more productive chickens but will help fight against the disease, flies, and vermin. Chicken can be messy so how often you have to clean the coop depends on how fussy your chickens are.

It's a good idea to keep an eye on the coop as often as possible. At the very least, you should check on the condition of the housing every day. This doesn't mean cleaning on a daily basis but make sure your chickens are well fed and hydrated. Most chickens poop during the evening so you should clean this out each morning. The nice thing is you can recycle chicken poop by adding it to the soil to help provide nutrients for growing vegetables.

Each week you may be required to change the bedding of the nesting boxes. Recycling old bedding is convenient and efficient and is encouraged. The watering devices to keep your chickens hydrated should be cleaned at least once per month to ensure safety and combat potential illness and spread of disease.

At least twice per year, you should do a full coop clean out. Replacing the topsoil with fresh soil after cleaning the poop and any built-up dirt will make your chickens happier. Scrub down all doors and windows and keep the overall area nice and clean.

The main thing to remember is that by keeping a clean coop, you not only provide a safer, healthier environment for your chickens but they'll be happier and more productive in the process.


Sunday, July 8, 2018

CHICKEN RAISING Terms from B - M

An adult male chicken, the rooster has a promi...
An adult male chicken, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Familiarize yourself with these terms to get a hold of chicken raising.

Bantam – a chicken variety that is about half the size of the standard breed of chickens. These breeds are usually bred for ornamental reasons.

Bedding – can either be shavings of wood, haystack pile, or newspaper that are added to the floor of the coop and inside a nest box. The purpose of this is for absorption of droppings and odor of chicken poop. It also provides a cushion for eggs to be safely ejected from its mother without the worry of breaking it.

Brood – this could either mean the hens incubating their chicks or a flock of baby chickens.

Broodiness – a chicken’s desire to incubate their babies – unfertilized or fertilized. Broodiness can make an egg hatch or spoil it. There are a lot of factors that may arise in being broody. And the mother is a bit moody when she is manifesting broodiness.

Candling – is a procedure wherein a candle or a light bulb is used. It is the process letting light shine through an egg to determine if it is fertilized or not. Candling can be useful especially if you are planning to separate the eggs with growing embryo and those that you wanted to sell.

Capon – a rooster that has been castrated.

Clutch – fertilized egg groups that hens tend to incubate.

Cockerel – a juvenile or young rooster.

Comb – this is the rubbery, red flat piece of flesh hanging on top of a chicken’s head. Roosters have a more prominent comb than hens. Some who are engaged in cockfighting preferred to cut the rooster’s comb so as not to interfere with the fight.

Coop – house of chickens.

Crop – Part of a chicken’s digestive system that can be found in the esophagus wherein food is first digested before entering the stomach.

Droppings Tray – a tray that collects chicken droppings, which is located under poles for quick disposal. 

Dust bath – A pattern of chicken behavior wherein they dig a hole in the ground and immerse their bodies in the earth that has been loosened. They will get down and dirty until they get satisfied. Bathing in dust is a kind of defense mechanism to protect chickens from lice and mites that may invade their feathers and feed on their blood. A dust bath can either be natural or artificial.

Feeder – a container that delivers and holds feeds for chickens.

Fertilized egg – an egg that came from the mating of a rooster and a hen and is destined to become a baby.

Grit – bits of rock or sand bits that chickens tend to eat and is stored in the crop that is important for good digestion.

Hackles – chicken’s neck feathers.

Hen – female chicken.

Incubation – the process of egg hatching in which the application of heat is required. The eggs that are incubated are those that are already fertilized. Constant heat, usual turning, and an environment that is humid are the essential needs of an egg that also comes in with the period. Incubation takes about 21 days before the eggs are expected to hatch. 

Layer feed – a feed that is complete and is made for the sake of laying hens.

Molt or molting – this is the process of feather shedding and re-growing which happens once a year. When the molting season comes, laying season is suspended.


Monday, June 25, 2018

CHICKEN BANTAM - Smallest and Most Fun Chicken?

Silkie
Silkie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Chickens come in a variety of sizes. The average sized chicken found in most breeds, the huge chicken that can probably feed a home for two days, and then there's the small chicken bantam.

Bantams are naturally small. You can compare them to other small chickens in size, but these guys are special because they don't come any bigger. Bantam chickens will only get as big as twenty-two ounces.

So what's the big thing about these bantam chickens? They don't make for very good meat providers, and even if they produce a lot of eggs, the eggs are probably puny - not even enough to satisfy one person. What good are they?

Chicken bantams make for decent pets

Here's the thing; Bantams are small. Their small size and elaborate plumage put them in pretty much the same level as other pets. They strut around and look good without really doing anything, and people love them because they're cute.

Bantams are also good-natured creatures, which makes them safe for the kids.

Let's talk a little more on the plumage. Bantams usually do have really elaborate plumage. Sometimes, the feathers are so exquisite that bantams have become champions in chicken breeding competitions time and again.

Take the bantam breed called the Sultan. This chicken doesn't look at all like a chicken, thanks to the poofy pompadour head of hair it has that hides its wattle and comb. This little guy is the Elvis Presley of chickens, bantam or not.

Another curious chicken bantam breed is the Silkie. This bird has the curious distinction of looking like a cloud of cotton, having five toes (as opposed to the standard four), and black flesh with blue skin. It is a very docile animal that despite the sparse amount of meat it offers, is considered a gourmet delicacy in mainland China.



Bottom line is that bantam chickens may be small creatures, but these little guys have some of the most interesting breeds in the chicken kingdom. People who aren't interested in keeping chickens as livestock might be wise to consider getting a bantam instead. Or if you're a beginner who's just after the experience, bantams are easy to take care of.

    By Chad B.
    Chad B. is an advocate for backyard chicken care and has been involved in raising chickens since he was a little boy back in 1986.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Essential Tips To Building A CHICKEN COOP From Blueprints

English: Chicken coop and run by Oakdene Coops
Chicken coop and run by Oakdene Coops (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you've decided to build your chicken coop based off of a set of plans or blueprints, the three essentials you can't ignore prior to building are: creating an open and comfortable area for the chickens, providing a safe pen to house the chickens, and making sure there is plenty of light. The more comfortable your chickens, the happier, healthier, and more productive they'll be.

You'll want your chicken coop to also provide plenty of ventilation by allowing air to flow freely. Chicken poop and heat can make for an uncomfortable environment which may upset the flock. Hot days can also cause discomfort so you want to provide chickens with a means to cool down therefore shady areas are also essential. During the colder winter months, you also want the chickens to be able to warm up and remain comfortable.

Chickens, like most birds, love to perch. Look for plans that include some sort of perching areas. By providing designated perches, chickens will be less likely to perch in areas you want to keep them away from such as water and food locations. Chickens often poop wherever they're perched so you don't want perches anywhere near areas that should remain clean and disease free.

Nest boxes are also a must-have. You want your chickens to be able to find their spot to lay eggs comfortably and nests are perfect for this. They don't have to be fancy nests as you'll need to keep them clean on a regular basis but a designated area or box is ideal.



So, by understanding the basic essentials of what makes for a good chicken coop, you'll be in a better position to choose a well-designed blueprint. It doesn't have to be fancy as your chickens won't pass judgement on your tastes but your coop should provide all the comforts that make chickens relaxed, comfortable, safe, and secure.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

CHICKEN BREEDS - The Araucana Chicken

Aracuana Hahn cropped.jpg
Aracuana Rooster (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
The Araucana was initially developed in South America, specifically in Chile in the early 1900s by a professor of animal science. The Breed was developed from birds kept by a native Chilean tribe, the Mapuche. Later in the 1930s, the Araucana was introduced to the United Kingdom. The unique traits of the Araucana chicken come from cross breeding of the Collonca, a small single comb bird which lacks a tail and lays blue eggs, and a Quetero, which has a flowering tail, a pea comb and lays brown eggs.

When crossed with other breeds the Araucana offspring will lay blue eggs, this is where the development or the Ameraucana came from as the Araucana have a genetically lethal allele combination that results in the death of some chicks. The aim of developing the Ameraucana was to standardise the laying of a blue egg laying breed and to remove the genetic flaw.

Araucana Chicken Breed Facts

Class
Standard, All Other Standard Breeds.

Bantam, All Other Combs, Clean Legged.

Size
Standard Cock: 5 lb. (2.25 kg)

Standard Hen: 4 lb. (1.8 kg)

Bantam Cock: 26 oz. (740 g)

Bantam Hen: 24 oz. (680 g)

Comb, Wattles & Earlobes
Small pea comb; wattles are very small or absent; earlobes are very small and smooth and covered by an ear tuft. All are bright red.

Tail
Entirely absent; saddle feathers flow over the rump.

Colour
Black. Black beak, shanks, and toes; brown eyes; standard black plumage.
Black-Breast Red. Hornbeak; reddish bay eyes; greyish yellow shanks and toes. Male: Head, hackle, and saddle are reddish chestnut changing to gold at lower extremities. Front of neck and breast are lustrous black. Tail and wings are black with reddish bay highlights. Under colour is slate. Female: Head and hackle are reddish chestnuts against a cinnamon brown body. Tails and wings have some black. Under colour is slate to light cinnamon.
Blue. Standard blue plumage

Buff. Standard buff plumage.

Golden Duckwing. Hornbeak; red eyes; willow shanks and toes. Standard golden duckwing plumage.

Silver. Standard silver plumage.

Silver Duckwing. Hornbeak; red eyes; willow shanks and toes. Standard silver duckwing plumage.

White. Yellow beak, shanks, and toes; red eyes. Standard white plumage.

Place of Origin
Chile

Conservation Status
Study

Special Qualities
Lays blue to bluish green eggs. Has a lethal allele combination; some chicks die during incubation.
The Araucana was first admitted to the American Poultry Association (APA) in 1976.



Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Several Different Breeds of BANTAM CHICKENS


A bantam rooster (breed unknown)
A bantam rooster (breed unknown)
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
To better understand the numerous types and kinds of bantam chickens, we need to understand the actual definition of the word. When used in relation to fowl or chickens, Bantam is used for any extremely small fowl. The way most people have understood this rating is my understanding that for most of the regular breeds of chickens there are some bantam counterparts. These are most often one-fourth to one-fifth the size of the standard chickens, thus earning them the addition of miniature or bantam to their original name.

When taking into consideration the original namesake of bantam, this chicken or fowl has no standard counterpart. The most popular and commonly known bantam chickens are the Dutch bantam, the Sebright bantam, the Japanese bantam and the Dutch bantam. Due in part to their size and ease of care, bantams have rapidly risen to the top of the list as pets used primarily for shows or competitions. Because of their size, they require far less food, space, and maintenance resulting in their previously mentioned status as preferred pets.

Some of the most widely known breeds of bantam chickens are the Cochin, Japanese Bantams, common Bantam, Barnevelder, Old English Game, Polish chicken, D'Uccle, Pekin, Serama and the Sussex bantams. The following are brief descriptions of them:

The Cochin bantam is one of the largest breeds of bantams with the male known for weighing in at a surprising 5 Kg. (11 pounds). This particular bantam breed was introduced in China as the Chinese Shanghai and later exported to America and Britain. Another Bantam breed closely related and developed from this breed is the Pekin bantam.

Japanese bantams most commonly referred to as Chao, are literally spread worldwide. These chickens are mostly used in shows and as pets.

Barnevelder bantam is among the most popular breed of chickens for shows, carcass, and egg production. Producing rich brown eggs is their speciality and they are natural foragers on top of being a medium heavy breed which makes them excellent for either gaming or food.

Pekin bantam female.
Pekin bantam female. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Old English Game bantams also make excellent pets for children and are a source of special shows in the United Kingdom for this specific popular breed. This bantam breed is almost opposite to its standard counterpart, the Old English Game chicken in that it lacks an aggressive nature.

The Polish chicken has primarily bred for their show abilities due to the fact their appearance is almost beautiful. Boasting such colours as pink, purple, and blue, these bantams do not sit on eggs but produce stark, white eggs.

Uccle is a town on the outskirts of Brussels, Belgium and is the namesake of the Barbu D'Uccle bantam with soft feathers. This chicken received its name from the French, translating as Bearded of Uccle.
The Pekin bantam, sporting feathers on their legs and feet combined with plumage that hangs to the ground, has often been referred to as a "walking tea-cosy". Noticeably smaller, measuring in at 20 - 30 centimetres and are well known for their mothering instincts.

The Serama bantam breed of chickens is basically still in production. Although they are currently ranked as the smallest chickens in the world, their breed has not been bred true as of yet, meaning breeding them could result in any colour, shape, size, etc.

The Sussex bantam is one-quarter the size of its standard counterpart, better known as the most common of backyard chickens in different countries around the world.



Friday, November 10, 2017

Essential Vitamins to Enhance POULTRY PRODUCTION

Chickens being transported in trucks, presumab...
Chickens being transported in trucks, presumably for slaughter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The principal aim of poultry growers is for their chickens along with other fowls to remain healthy so these may be offered at the optimum price and make utmost revenues. One of the complications you may well experience close to poultry increasing includes the shortage of poultry vitamins and minerals. Poultry demands practically all types of nutritional vitamins other than vitamin C. Some dissolve in fat whilst other individuals in liquid.

Worth of Dietary supplements
Poultry farming has grown to be demanding because of the fees of feeds, raw elements, as well as other supplies, continue on to go up. Even with these developments, it's not necessarily highly recommended to reduce vitamin nutritional supplements from the midst of threats coming from illnesses plaguing your chickens. Dietary supplements are great for hens and bolster the immune devices of poultry are stalked by ailments or have just absent by means of vaccination. Moreover, micronutrients are essential for energy synthesis and boost the electricity of weak birds.

Vitamins B, D3 and E will help chicks and hens improve their resistance to ailments and boost appetite especially for the duration of stressful situations. Enough offer of poultry minerals and vitamins is crucial to poultry nourishment. Other nutritional vitamins obligatory for max poultry wellbeing consist of excess fat soluble nutritional vitamins similar to a, D, E and K. On the other hand, natural vitamins that dissolve in drinking water are vitamin B. The ingestion of such nutrients in ample quantities can increase the well being of the poultry.

Suggested Vitamins and Minerals
Legit suppliers will certainly endorse excellent items to suit your needs to include the Avian Tremendous Pack which boasts of nutritional vitamins A, D3, E, B12, Ascorbic Acid, Riboflavin, Niacin, Biotin and similarly beneficial. This has actually been described as one of several very best natural vitamins currently being marketed out there. You can also try out the pure cod liver oil which benefits up to the fowls' urge for food and aids put together birds for breeding. The GQF Natural vitamins, In addition, include vitamins and minerals, natural and organic acids in addition to live and natural- micro-organisms to complement acid manufacturing that happens to be normally lacking between chicks. These poultry minerals and vitamins are relevant when birds are fatigued or soon after applying wormers and antibiotics.


Diet for Chicks
The Gro-Gel furthermore B ensures speedy nourishment for chicks which have just been hatched. On the other hand, the Poultry Nutri-Drench also enhances the immune technique and beefs up vitamin lack. It enhances antibiotic response and alleviates heat and pressure caused by shipping. A single gallon of Recovery translates to your supplemental supply of iron, cobalt, and zinc. A lot of poultry raisers have previously offered their approval of this particular dietary supplement.

This will help poultry recuperate from pressure due to transport, intense climatic conditions, vaccination, and diarrhea. Just combine just one teaspoon of this health supplement in 4-gallon water. Ultimately, the Pink Mobile liquid vitamin and iron mineral nutritional supplement promotes excellent feathering and will get your hen in peak problem for breeding and display. With each other with all the Vionate Powder feeds, claimed poultry minerals and vitamins may help avoid crooked toes along with other leg difficulties. The stabilizer consists of 21 essential minerals and vitamins needed for protecting nutritious breeders and enhancing the development of chicks.




Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Important POULTRY Diseases

Left - normal chicken eye. Right - Eye of a ch...
Left - normal chicken eye. Right - Eye of a chicken with Marek's disease (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Poultry farming is a method that involves breading and rearing of chickens, ducks, turkeys, and other such birds with a purpose of obtaining eggs and meat for food. Poultry is considered an important source of the animal protein throughout the globe and is considered the most intensive species for rearing. There are a number of ways in which there is a big use of poultry products like butter, bread, bakery items, and other recipes.

The poultry industry is known to be a major contributor of food and plays a significant role in the economy of any country. Poultry rising in different parts of the world has proven it a profitable enterprise as it is considered a best and vital source of palatable, nutritious, and cheap food protein. In different parts of the world, there are hen birds that are maintained in the backyard of houses on small-scale in small villages. A very little investment is needed in terms of material and money for this backyard poultry farming.

Some important breeds worldwide involve leghorn, buff rock, Rhodes Island red, light Sussex that is hatched successfully in different parts of the world. An average of almost 250-300 eggs is produced by lying birds per year whereas the average live weight of lying birds is usually recommended at the age of 8 weeks as 1200 grams.

Over the last few decades, the production of poultry eggs and meat has shown a positive growth in the performance of livestock sector. Poultry farming is considered one of the most profitable and promising sources of extra income.

Rearing and breeding poultry is a tough job as there is an increased risk of diseases in poultry, both locally as well as internationally. There are different causes of poultry diseases but there are two main categories of the direct cause that include infectious and the non-infectious. Some non-infectious condition may cause reduced immune responses; secondly, this non-infectious condition may result in increased contact with different infectious organisms that can lead to an increased cause of infectious diseases.
Comparative to the production of modern poultry, the poultry production that is village based is usually characterized by different disease ranges that occur at same time. There is some free-range poultry that has subclinical infections with an increasing number of ectoparasites and endoparasites. Backyard poultry results in low productivity and the major cause of this is high mortality that is due to the diseases, mismanagement, lack of nutritional predators, and feeding. In this backyard system, the rate of mortality has been estimated about 80-90% within one year of hatching.



In many flocks of family poultry, poultry disease is an important and increasing problem. Diagnosing, treating, and preventing poultry disease are considered essential to any of the attempt at raising the productivity.

In the commercial production system, broilers are vaccinated routinely against different diseases like Avian Influenza, Infectious bronchitis, Marek's Disease, Newcastle Disease, and many others that depend on some specific recommendations and situations in each country. There are a number of poultry diseases so they are divided into five major categories that include poultry diseases caused by fungal infections including Aspergilloses, Ochratoxicosis, Fusariotoxicosis, aflatoxicosis; virus such as Fowl Pox, Avian Flu; bacteria like Escherichia coli, Pasteurella multocida, Mycobacterium avium; parasites like Coccidiosis, Haemoparasites; and those are caused by nutritional deficiency like the food that may be deficient in vitamins and minerals. There are also problems that involve poultry diseases caused by the stress, poor management, and housing. To avoid different poultry diseases it is recommended to have a regular examination of your chickens to avoid any type of serious and fatal disease.



Monday, October 16, 2017

How to Build a CHICKEN COOP - 6 Crucial Elements on Building a CHICKEN HOUSE

A chicken coop.
An old chicken coop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When building a chicken coop, it is suggested that you follow the guidelines below for a successful endeavor.

Element #1. - Appearance and Design:
Sketch out your design on a sheet of paper before you do anything else. Think of the colors you will paint the roof and chicken coop walls. Always keep in mind that if your chicken coop is clearly visible to your neighbors, (unless you live in a farm it will most likely be visible to your entire neighborhood,) it shouldn't ever serve as a distraction or defacement of its utmost surroundings. So make sure to design an aesthetically looking chicken coop so that your neighbors do not complain of its detracting appearance. Once finished, always remember to remove and dispose of any types of garbage or weeds from around your chicken coop. Try to maintain an appealing landscape around it to enhance its overall appearance.

Element #2. - Using Sound Judgment:
When designing your chicken coop structure, you must use sound judgment in almost every aspect of the way.
For instance, you want to use building materials in which the cleaning and disinfecting procedures will be quick and easy. The doors you install should open inwards, not outwards. You don't want your chickens roosting on your windows, so it is best to install sliding windows.
A question many people ask is how to build a chicken coop who's floors are easy to hose and spray down without much puddling? Well, the secret to that is to slightly slope the flooring toward the door. This way, when you spray out the chicken coop, the water will flow out, hence solving your puddling problem.

Element # 3. - Protection from Hazardous Elements:
So you want to learn how to build a chicken coop with maximum protection?

Then listen up.
As you may know, a well-built chicken coop will protect your chickens from hazardous elements such as bad weather (heavy rain, wind, hail, snow, cold climates, etc,) but they will also protect them from hungry predators, theft, and injury.
So how do we accomplish that?
Easy. You want to build a draft-free chicken house with windows and doors that can be opened and closed as needed. Make sure the windows and doors both have proper screening systems installed in them such as a heavy gauge mesh wire. Building the chicken coop on a high yet well-drained area with ensuring the least amount of dampness of the coop. Be sure to build your chicken coop in an area that faces the sun which will help warm and dry the soil and coop itself after it rains.
To protect your chickens from predators, the best thing to do is to bury your outside runs with chicken wire all around the coop about 1 foot deep. This will prevent some very hungry predators such as raccoons, cats and even dogs from digging underneath it.




Strategy # 4. - Coop Ventilation:
You may be wondering how to build a chicken coop that will not only keep your chickens locked up and protected from bad weather and predators yet receive the proper ventilation it requires. If so, then you already understand the importance of draft-free air movement from within the coop. Chickens, much like humans, need fresh air and oxygen. The same goes for the removal of unwanted excessive moisture and carbon dioxide. A chicken coop with ample air movement and proper ventilation will help remove the ammonia build up and dampness that may grow inside its walls.
Speaking of walls, the chicken coop walls should have proper insulation installed which will help keep the chickens dry. As long as chickens are dry, they can handle cold climates very well, but humidity plus cold weather will cause health issues for your poultry. Therefore, insulated walls are a must!

Strategy # 5. - Light Source:
If you want a good source of light and warmth for your chickens during the cold months of the year and a solid source of ventilation during the hot months, then be sure to install the chicken coop windows facing the south side where they will receive direct sunlight throughout the day.
On another note, if your goal is to raise chickens that will produce great eggs all year round, then you should look into an electrical source of light. You should be able to easily install an electrical light at the height of the chicken coop's ceiling which will help keep your chickens warm and help them lay better chicken eggs throughout the year. One ceiling light should be enough for a small scale chicken coop, for larger chicken coops though, try to install one electrical ceiling light per every 30 - 40 feet.

Strategy # 6. - Conveniently placed Waters and Chicken Feeders:
Chicken feeders and waterers should be placed where your flock will have easy access to them. However, you have to be careful where you place them because chickens like to make a mess of everything they eat due to their chicken scratching instincts. I'm sure you don't want to see your chicken feed mix all over the coop floors so, to avoid this, place the chicken feeders at the height of the chicken's back. This way they will have to stretch their necks up to eat but won't reach the feeders with their feet. Same goes for the waterers. Just make sure to keep the waterers full of fresh clean water throughout the day.


There you have it, folks. 6 quick and easy strategies that will show you how to build a chicken coop fast and efficiently. Whether you're building a large scale chicken coop or a small one, these tips should get you moving in the right direction.

Folks, did you know that the average American spends about $300 to build a chicken coop? Some even invest over 2 months of work trying to assemble the darn structure and in the end aren't even fully contempt with their product. Not very enticing is it? A great chicken coop plan can cut your time and efforts in half while saving you a vast amount money on building materials. To learn how to build a chicken coop with maximum benefits for your flock without investing a magnitude of your time and money, click here: how to build a chicken coop.

    Dale Higgins has been raising chickens and poultry for over 20 years and is an expert in building chicken coops.  - Article Source: EzineArticles


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Selecting a Breed of CHICKEN

The Belgian d'Everberg is a Belgian breed of b...
The Belgian d'Everberg is a Belgian breed of bantam chicken. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
They're Not Just Chickens
Chickens come in all shapes, color, sizes... and purposes. Did you know that selecting the type of chicken to raise in your backyard depends on what you want to get from them? There are basically three groups of chickens to select from according to purpose: the egg-laying variety, the meat-producers, and the dual purpose type. Each of these groups of chickens is bred according to a specific use. It is important to first determine what kind of product you want to get from your chickens and raise the variety that can best give you what you need.

A working knowledge about chicken breeds is going to be very helpful in for the beginner. A visit to a chicken raiser in your area to ask him about the different breeds, as well as their specific characteristics, will really pay off. Most of those who are raising chickens will be very happy to help beginners start their flock. If there is no one raising chickens in your area, there is a lot of information which you can get from your local library or the internet. In fact, if you read through this article you are going to get useful information about the different types of chickens and other chicken data such as the breeds of chicken for eggs and the best chickens for meat as you begin your foray into backyard poultry raising.

Sunny Side Up, Please: Breeds of chickens for eggs
If you can't live without your sunny side up for breakfast, then you'll want to get chickens of the egg-laying variety. The best breeds of chicken for eggs include the White Leghorns, Golden Comets, and Red Sex Links. White Leghorns are prolific producers of white eggs. White Leghorns can give you around 270- 290 eggs per year- that's the number of eggs per chicken or how many eggs a single White Leghorn hen can give! The Golden Comets and Red Sex Links are also excellent layers. They produce brown eggs.




Here's a little trivia: Did you know that the color of the eggs that a chicken will produce can be determined by the color of its earlobes? A chicken with red earlobes will produce brown eggs and those with white earlobes will lay white eggs. Although there is no significant difference between these two kinds of eggs in terms of nutritional value, the brown eggs are generally larger than white eggs. The best egg layers come either small to medium size. Thus, they are only good for egg production but they are not the best to breed for meat.

I Want My Buffalo Wings, Baby: Best chickens for meat
Buffalo wings never fail to excite the taste buds and if you want this for lunch any time of the week, then you should be raising the meat producers. The best chickens for meat include such breeds as the Rhode Island Red, the Langshan, the Dorking and the Cornish. Most of the commercial breeders use these basic breeds to produce meat for large-scale commercial sale. These birds weigh from 8 to 10 pounds and are very docile. The meat variety is often a cross or blends of these large breeds. Aside from being able to easily adapt to open spaces as well as small coops and pens, these types of chickens also grow very fast. The Cornish, for instance, can reach 4 to 5 pounds in 6 weeks and 8 to10 pounds in 12 weeks. This makes it a very good foundation for other meat breeds.

The Best of Both Worlds: Chickens for Eggs and Meat
If you want the best of both worlds, there are chickens that produce both eggs and meat. These types of chickens are best represented by American breeds such as the Plymouth Rocks, Sussex, and the Wyandottes. Known as the dual purpose type, these chickens lay eggs reasonably well and are large enough for meat production. These varieties come in different colors and are generally docile. They have a generally tame temperament. Rhode Island Reds are known as one of the best breeds of chickens for eggs and meat production.


Feed Requirements
A lot of people shy away from raising chickens in their backyard because they mistakenly think that feeding them is hard work. However, feeding chickens in your backyard need not be complicated. This task can even be made simpler if you decide to free-range your chickens since all you need to do is to give them supplemental feeds like grains or the commercially-prepared chicken feeds. Free-ranged chickens will normally scratch their food around.

However, if you are confining your chickens in small coops or stalls then you have to make sure that you give them a well-balanced diet. There is a wide array of commercial feeds in your local poultry shop that you can choose from. These pre-packed feeds are usually a mixture of different grains and crumbles.

Just remember 3G's in feeding penned chickens: grains, grass and grit and you will surely do well. Vitamin supplements from time to time will help your cooped chickens get the essential nutrients that they would have gotten from bugs and other insects had they been ranged. Grit is also very important for them in digesting their food since these serve as their teeth. Chickens that are free-ranged will just fine grit in the ground but this needs to be given to cooped chickens on a regular basis.

Don't forget to give them fresh and clean water. Whether free-range or penned, chickens should always have a regular supply of clean water. Water needs to be changed and containers cleaned regularly. Pathogens that can cause different diseases in your chickens thrive well in dirty water containers.

Climate
Most of the chicken breeds are very adaptive to different climates. It cannot be denied, however, that changes in environmental temperature like sudden rain and season changes can be very stressful for them. And just like humans, their bodies will be prone to infection when they are under severe stress. There is nothing you can do about the climate in your area but you certainly can minimize its bad effects to your chickens by providing them with proper housing. You can help your chickens cope during the rainy season by building covered coops or putting up roofs above their pens. In areas where the temperature gets scorching during the summer, a roof or plants can give your chickens a comfortable hideout just in case the sun gets too punishing. And again, regardless of the climate, clean water should always be within your chicken's reach. Water helps them regulate environmental temperature.

A Final Word
If you are serious about raising chickens in your backyard, determine what you want to raise them for and get the type of chicken breed that best fits your purpose. This will result in a very rewarding experience raising your backyard flock.

    I am just a man who loves to walk into my backyard and grab some breakfast. About a year ago, I took the leap and began raising chickens. I started this site to share the joy of keeping chickens. I work 55-60 hours per week, so the progress is slow.
    Article Source: EzineArticles